Is one of the reasons that your practice is avoiding moving to an E.H.R. is due to most E.H.R. Systems feel like “working in a spreadsheet”? Is it due to the inflexibility of the software to adjust to your practices system of treating patients? Up to date E.H.R. systems do not need to be inflexible. There are many E.H.R. options for a practice. Some items to consider when selecting an E.H.R. system include is the system:
- Easy to learn and utilize
- Designed on modern platforms that minimize operating costs (i.e. Cloud Computing)
- Flexible to work around the clinical workflow of the practice.
- Maintain direct connections to Surescripts for Electronic Prescriptions and formulary advice.
- Efficiently designed to Allow providers to see 20-30 patients per day and complete their charts within 30 minutes of seeing their last patient.
- Easy to use for providers with all levels of interest in computers as well experience (e.g. ‘good’ for new associates as well as Senior Partners)
- Contain links between the E.H.R. and the billing and practice management systems to optimize revenue for the practice
Recommend complete an on-line or in-person demonstration of the various E.H.R. systems. Evaluate the systems based on ease of use in your field of Medicine, flexibility, interoperability, functionality and price. Should also identify if the company is devoted to continuous improvement. Ask your company contact to describe the improvements in the system over the last 12 and 24 months. This person should also be able to describe how they improved the usability, quality, function and interoperatibility over the last two years. Compare the rate of improvements between companies you are evaluating. A company with minimal improvements might have most of their capital focused on Marketing and Sales versus continuous development.
Some further questions to ask:
- Does the company sell data, allow advertisers to influence providers that utilize their E.H.R. system?
- Request the E.H.R. Company to provide a list of their partners? Are these partners ‘high quality’ partners?
- Does the company maintain all the data within the United States?
- Is there a cost for updates to the Software? Is the Software ‘static’ (rarely changes) or ‘dynamic’ (continuous improvement)?
- Is the practice able to pay for customization of the system/software? What is the cost of this customization?
These questions are different for each practice and each specialty. A “Good” clinical workflow will optimize the work of providers; staff members and patient flow in the practice.